Breaking with the parade's 47-year tradition of honoring a Canfield citizen who has a history of serving the community, the Canfield 4th of July committee has this year chosen grand marshals for their future potential as well as the marks they have made in our community already. And it's a dual honor.
Michael and Anthony Ross, identical twin sons of Tony and Lisa Ross, have shared everything with each other throughout their lives. Both have been active in Key Club and Leo's Club, both were inducted into the National Honor Society and both lettered in football and baseball. They even shared their senior class office Anthony as president and Michael as vice president. In addition, both graduated with a 4.0 GPA. Now as they begin their lives beyond high school, they will continue their lifetime of sharing, having both been appointed to West Point Academy.
Anthony and Michael have attributed their successes in life to their mom and dad, but both Tony and Lisa agree it takes a community to raise a child and both are very thankful for the neighbors, friends, coaches and educators who have been active role models for Michael and Anthony.
Committee members include, in front row, left to right: Jill Barton, Clare Neff, Enid Maldonado, Marlene Belfiore, Jeff Moliterno, and Jack Salmon. In the back row, are Steve Rogers, Gary Hubbard, Dave Burch, Mark Sabol, and John Craig. Missing from the photo are committee members Canfield police Chief Chuck Colucci and Jim Queen.
"We are so blessed," stressed Tony, "to have been able to raise our sons in such a caring community."
Anthony and Michael are not the first twins to be accepted at West Point. According to retired Col. Chuck Coleman, West Point's local representative, the first documented twins were appointed in 1935. Since that time, many sets of twins male and female have attended the Academy. Nor are the Ross twins the first CHS graduates to attend, but they feel honored to be able to continue the tradition of service to their community and to their country. For their parents, it's a bittersweet moment as their sons head off to the Academy, but they're proud of their commitment to serve their country.
Michael and Anthony will report to West Point by Monday, July 2, so they will be unable to actually take their seats in the grand marshal's convertible, but Tony and Lisa are looking forward to being their official representatives.
With planning almost complete, this year's theme of "Ignite the Spirit of America," features festivities starting at 7:30 a.m. with registration for the Kids' Race and Firecracker 4 Mile Run. The races begin at 8:15 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. respectively. J.D. Eicher & The Goodnights will perform on the Gazebo from 8:45 a.m. until the start of the parade at 10 a.m.
The activities continue throughout the day and, this year, the kids games and prizes are on the North Green has been expanded.
"We have a new chairperson in charge of the kids' games," reports parade co-chair Enid Maldonado. "Jill Barton graciously accepted the position and brought lots of great ideas for games and prizes and all the favorites will be there, too." Canfield's 4th of July committee meets year round to plan the large-scale Independence Day celebration.
While the committee plans parade festivities, Canfield Rotary's FireworksFest committee are preparing for this year's fireworks spectacular, which starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 30.
"We invite the entire community to come together to kick off the Independence Day holiday with the first, largest and loudest fireworks celebration in the area," says event chair and Rotarian Sam Boak.
Boak also encourages the public to come into the fairgrounds to enjoy the full effect of the Zambelli display, which will be choreographed to music this year. Free FireworksFest souvenirs will be given to the first 500 cars to enter the fairgrounds.
Event parking will be $5 a car again this year. Entertainment will be provided by The House Band, J.D. Eicher & the Goodnights, world record holder "Bad Habit" Monster Truck and by Austintown Bounce.
In the event of rain and cancellation, the fireworks will be rescheduled for Sunday, July 1. For more information, visit www.canfieldrotaryfireworksfest.com.